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Allegheny Enterprises, Inc. v. Endeavour Operating Corporation

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

November 6, 2014

ALLEGHENY ENTERPRISES, INC., Plaintiffs,
v.
ENDEAVOUR OPERATING CORPORATION, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

MATTHEW W. BRANN, District Judge.

Before the Court is Plaintiff Allegheny Enterprises, Inc.'s Motion in Limine (ECF No. 101) and Motion to Withdraw the Motion in Limine (ECF No. 107). For the reasons that follow, the Plaintiff's Motion in Limine is denied in part and granted in part, and the Motion to Withdraw the Motion in Limine is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

The Court writes for the Parties, who are familiar with this case; therefore, the Court reiterates only the salient facts and procedural history in brief. This case was removed to this Court on December 15, 2010. The Court's basis for jurisdiction is the Parties' diverse citizenship. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

On August 17, 2012, Plaintiff Allegheny Enterprises, Inc. (hereinafter, "Allegheny") filed an amended complaint seeking declaratory judgment (Counts I & II), and asserting claims of conversion (Count III), intentional interference with contractual relations (Count IV), and interference with coal interests (Count V) against Defendant J-W Operating Company (hereinafter, "J-W Operating" or "J-W").[1] Am. Compl., Aug. 17, 2012, ECF No. 53 [hereinafter "Am. Compl."]. On August 31, 2012, J-W Operating answered and asserted counterclaims against Allegheny, including breach of warranty (counterclaim Count I), fraud (counterclaim Count II), and requests for declaratory judgment (counterclaim Count III) and counsel fees (counterclaim Count IV). Answer & Countercl. ¶¶ 61-86, Aug. 31, 2012, ECF No. 54.

On January 25, 2013, Allegheny filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on Counts I and II (declaratory judgment), III (conversion), and V (interference with coal interests) of its Amended Complaint, as well as on J-W Operating's counterclaims I (breach of warranty) and II (fraud) (ECF No. 63). On January 28, 2013, J-W Operating filed a cross Motion for Summary Judgment on Allegheny's Counts I, II, III, and IV (intentional interference with contractual relations), and its own counterclaim Counts I, II, and III (declaratory judgment) (ECF No. 66).

On March 5, 2014, the Court issued a Memorandum and accompanying Order disposing of the cross motions for summary judgment (ECF Nos. 86, 87). The Court denied Allegheny's motion with respect to Counts I and II (concerning declaratory judgment), and Count III (conversion), but granted the motion as to Count V (regarding interference with coal interests) except for the amount of damages, if any. The Court granted J-W Operating's Motion for Summary Judgment regarding Allegheny's Counts I, II, III, and IV; denied as moot J-W Operating's own counterclaim Counts I (breach of warranty) and II (fraud); and granted its own counterclaim on Count III (declaratory judgment).

On August 22, 2014, J-W Operating filed a Motion to Substitute Party, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(c), stating that J-W transferred all of its right, title, and interest in the assets and leases at issue in this litigation to Endeavour Operating Corporation ("Endeavour"). As Endeavour is now the true party-in-interest in this litigation, the Court granted the motion and substituted Endeavour for J-W Operating Company by Order dated September 11, 2014 (ECF No. 103).

The matter is now scheduled to proceed to trial on November 12 and 13, 2014, on the remaining count (Count V of Allegheny's Amended Complaint for damages for interference with its coal interests). In anticipation of that trial, Allegheny filed the pending Motion in Limine to assert three points. First, Allegheny seeks to prevent Endeavour from utilizing certain photos as an exhibit at trial. Second, Allegheny moves to exclude certain exploration and termination agreements as irrelevant. Third, Allegheny moves to exclude two potential Endeavour witnesses, but subsequently withdrew the motion as to one of the witnesses. The Court considers these issues seriatim.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Defendant's Pictures Are Not Excluded

Allegheny seeks to prevent a series of twenty-six (26) pictures that the Defendant anticipates introducing into evidence. The pictures purport to depict the Pardee Well, the oil and gas well at issue in this case, and the surrounding acreage and infrastructure. The photographs were taken during the week of August 25, 2014 and produced to Allegheny the following week on September 4, 2014.

Allegheny argues that the photographs should be excluded, because the Defendant violated several Federal Rules of Civil Procedure pertaining to discovery production and supplementation. The argument involves the ...


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